Senate passes 529 bills in 7 months-A A +A
Friday, February 15, 2013
SENATORS were able to pass a record 529 measures months after the long impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
These bills, some of them already became law, were tackled in the third and last regular session of the 15th Congress, covering the period July 23, 2012 to February 6, 2013.
The figure surpassed the 524 measures passed by the 14th Congress from July 27, 2009 to June 4, 2010.
Among other bills, the Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said they worked hard to ensure early passage of the national budget for the last three years under the Aquino administration.
He said Congress had also passed Joint Resolution 17, which annulled the Books of Voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm). It directed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to conduct a new general registration of voters in the regions, which was done in 2003.
Other measures signed into law include Republic Act (RA) 10351, that raised excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco products; RA 10354 also known as the Reproductive Health Bill; RA 10361, which gave additional benefits to household workers; RA 10349 or the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program, RA 10149 or the Government Owned and Controlled Corporations Act; and RA 10151, that allowed night work for women.
Rounding out the laws with national importance are RA 10167 that expanded the predicate crimes covered by the Anti-Money Laundering Act; RA 10168 that criminalized terrorist financing; RA 10174 or the People's Survival Fund; RA 10173 or the Data Privacy Act; RA 10153 which synchronizes the elections of Armm with the national and local elections, and RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Law.
The constitutionality of the cybercrime law and the RH law is currently being challenged before the Supreme Court.
Enrile said 92 bills are currently awaiting the approval of the President while eight measures are still pending in the bicameral conference committee. He said 237 measures, which were approved from July 23, 2012 to February 6, 2013, were sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
He said the Senate will approve additional measures when it resumes session on June 3 before it adjourns sine die. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)